1 PETER 2:21
“For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,”
Have you ever traced letters? That’s how we used to be taught how to write the alphabet. I remember distinctly tracing the letters until I could write them just as they appeared on the paper. It took hours of practice to get them right, but I kept on until I had it.
The Greek word for “example” is only used right here in the New Testament. The word is hupogrammos, which comes from two Greek words, hupo and grapho. It literally means under writing, to trace. We are to “trace” our lives after Christ’s life. We are to follow His example of suffering. Yippee! Aren’t you excited? But that is the example He left us. He endured the cross for us, and He was innocent, unlike us.
Have a tracing contest with your children. Find a picture you all can trace and see who can trace it the fastest and not mess up. You see, tracing doesn’t work unless you stay in the lines. Share today’s verse with your children when you’re through and explain that we are “tracing” Jesus. We are to follow His example. And just like tracing a picture, we need to stay within the lines when we are tracing Jesus.
Now, does that mean you won’t ever make a mistake? Of course not. We are human and we fail. I am far from perfect. Sometimes I find myself tracing the wrong picture. I have totally gotten my eyes off of Jesus and am tracing the world or a hobby. Your children will mess up too. When they do, give them a new piece of paper and help them to start “tracing” again.
What are you tracing right now? Are you following the example of suffering left to us by Christ? Too many of us run from the very thought of suffering. But suffering with Jesus can be a sweet experience as He meets us in the valley. He will bring us out, if we will continue to follow His example.
I hate suffering. I’m just being honest, Lord. But I trust you. So, I will follow Your example and embrace the suffering You send my way.